Mindfulness of Thinking – Part 2

I enjoy recording meditations in studio, but I prefer doing it live, in the company of actual human beings. There’s an immediacy in these situations that can’t be reproduced. Like this meditation for example, guided in a moving car, with my highly stressed-out pal Dan Harris as meditating subject.

This particular technique expands on an earlier meditation, exploring the experiential components of thinking as they may present from moment to moment: the imagery, the inner talk, the subtle tensions and body tugs (another important component, emotional body sensations, will be addressed in a forthcoming meditation). This practice is a good example of an empowering meditative principle we can call “divide and conquer.” Stress and overwhelm often show up as indistinct blobs of feeling-thinking-tension. Insofar as all this stays blobby and indistinct, then it owns us. But if we can begin to tease apart the various components with our attention, then we may find we can dramatically lessen their collective impact. In this sense, mindfulness is about agency and sanity. It is another meditative superpower.

Much gratitude to my teacher, Shinzen Young, who first taught me to deconstruct my despotic inner system. Now it’s all rainbows, peace doves, and old reruns of my favorite 80s TV show, Manimal.